Jlab Epic Keyboard Review

Manufacturer: Jlab
Where to Buy: Jlab/Amazon
RRP: £69.99

More and more we’re seeing the benefit of keyboard and muse on console – from many games such as Fortnite and Gears of War supporting it, to even just using the Edge browser or entering game codes. We’ve been fortunate to be able to check out a few options for Xbox lately, and the latest one to grace our desks is the J-Lab Epic Keyboard. This offers not only a full button layout with options for customisation and profiles, but fully wireless play on Xbox thanks to an included USB dongle that is as simple to set up as plugging it in.

For Surface/tablet users like myself, the Jlab Epic is a great addition to my set up

First things first, and the Epic is a nice bit of kit to look at. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do prefer full on mechanical keys generally, but the buttons on the Epic have surprised me with how tactile they feel. They are also backlit which is a godsend, especially if – like me – you prefer to game and write in the dark. The matte grey and black colour scheme is also nice to look at and wouldn’t look out of place in your general office environment (in fact, I took this to my office for a while to use and they all remarked that they’d like one!). The only let down in the aesthetic department is the lack of an adjustable stand – the Epic is at one height, and one height only. The angle it is was fine to use, but I would have preferred to be able to adjust it slightly higher if I could have.

For those using this on PC, as well as being able to save profiles and key bindings, there’s also a built in media button on the top right. This acts as a play/skip/volume toggle in one by pressing and twisting it. It’s come in handy when writing things (such as this very review) to switch music/pause it when I need to think for a second without having to bring up the window I’m listening to.

The Media toggle is top right, with the connection switch buttons just underneath

On to the connections then, and as mentioned we need to make use of the included USB dongle to play on Xbox. Simply plug it in a USB port, turn the keyboard on and away we go. My set up has the Xbox and keyboard roughly 6-7 feet apart and it works just fine too. There was no issues recognising any buttons and key strokes when playing Fortnite, and thanks to the lack of a wire I absolutely will be playing this way more often going forward.

As well as the USB dongle we can pair up to two other connections via Bluetooth, swapped between with dedicated keys on the top right of the number pad. Handy for fliting back and forth between console and tablet to look up game help!

When not in use, the USB dongle can be tucked into the slot on the underside of the keyboard

It’s a shame there’s no mouse included though, as in order to complete the fully wireless game experience then we’ll need a separate mouse too. It also means we’ll take up two USB slots either way to play with these, whereas some other options pair keyboard and mouse under one USB dongle. At just shy of £70 too, this makes the lack of a mouse a little more stinging, though again we’re getting a very sturdy and great to use keyboard for that price.

Battery life is reported to be about six months with average daily use – obviously something we’re unable to test but with use most days for the past two weeks on a single charge we’re off to a great start. It can also be turned off manually to further save battery life should we need to.

Conclusion

The Jlab Epic keyboard has impressed us with its solid build and feel, responsive backlit buttons, and ease of use and set up, especially being wireless to our Xbox for gaming. It’s not the cheapest (or indeed the priciest) keyboard out there, but for £70 it’s hard to argue the value for money isn’t there, especially if you’re going to be using it a lot.

Hardware provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.
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Good
  • Solid build quality
  • Backlit buttons and media toggle
  • Long battery life
  • Multiple connections at the press of a button
Bad
  • Unable to adjust stand height
  • Need to purchase mouse separately
9
Excellent
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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